45-degrees and rain this morning at the start of the run. Ahhh, springtime. How lovely. Went back to Moscow Mt. to hit the trails again. I know I shouldn't do all my long runs on the trails as I build up for Portland, but I figure I can every couple/few weeks.
I'm not sure exactly how long today's run is. I do the 5.5 mile Headwaters Loop plus some. I'm guessing it is definitely at least 10 miles, which is what my training schedule called for today. Probably longer than 10, but that's what I'll call it. I was messing with my nifty barometric altimeter on my watch and the beginning of the run started at about 2,950ft. The high point of the trail was at a place called Paradise Point, 4,550ft. On the map to the right (click to enlarge) you can see the Headwaters Loop on the bottom left. The other trails lead up to Paradise Point, which is shown in red. I've been looking into these GPS watches and I think it would be great to have one but I keep hearing how unreliable they are without direct line-of-sight and I wonder if it would be worth even getting if I spend a lot of time on the trails. I guess for now I'll have to rely on my uncanny ability to read the sun's positioning to tell me my exact location. :)
The cool thing about the rain today is that it keeps most people away from the trails, so it felt like Sadie and I had the entire mountain to ourselves like we did yesterday. And man did I feel good today. I'm really feeling the progress I'm making, especially in the downhill sections. I think those two weeks of quad burning during my vacation built a nice base because today I was cruising through a lot of sections that just a couple months ago I would labor through. I like this running thing! One uncool thing about the rain today, along with the temps, was that my shirt was wet and heavy and (ouch!) my nipples were being rubbed to the point that the front of my shirt was covered with blood by the end of the run. My brand new awesome running shirt that I bought in Santa Fe!!! I want to note that this has never happened before so I was less than prepared. I doused it (my shirt) with my water bottle at the finish and I think it will be okay. Ouch!! (again). And yes, I'm blaming it on the rain.
So, in Santa Fe a few weeks ago I picked up some running gear. Along with a couple shirts and a pair of shorts, I got a much needed hydration belt and a very cool pair of socks. So, after a few weeks of use I just wanted to give both of them a huge thumbs up! The belt I love because it spreads the wealth around the waist and it is so versatile - long runs you can use all six bottles and shorter runs you can take out what you don't need and just carry a couple. My dad wears only these socks and I've heard a few other people rave about them and I have to tell you that they are great - no toe blisters yet. They're especially great when they are wet on my trail runs because that's usually when I would get blisters.
In other news, today was the running of the Comrades (Ultra) Marathon in South Africa. So, I have exactly one year to get ready for the next one...
But first, a rest day tomorrow.
-Photo 1 - Heading to trailhead
-Photo 2 - Map
-Photo 3 - Rained on Sadie
-Photo 4 - Taking a break at Paradise Point